“For a woman who thinks of herself as a New Yorker at this point, I buy a lot of clothes from companies named things like Shrimp & Grits. Why? Because identity is complicated.”
Elizabeth Passarella is content with being complicated. She grew up in Memphis in a conservative, Republican family with a Christian mom and a Jewish dad. Then she moved to New York, fell in love with the city—and, eventually, her husband—and changed. Sort of. While her politics have tilted to the left, she still puts her faith first—and argues that the two can go hand in hand, for what it’s worth.
In this sharp and slyly profound memoir, Elizabeth shares stories about everything from conceiving a baby in an unair-conditioned garage in Florida to finding a rat in her bedroom. She upends stereotypes about Southerners, New Yorkers, and Christians, making a case that we are all flawed humans simply doing our best. Good Apple is a hilarious, welcome celebration of the absurdity, chaos, and strange sacredness of life that brings us all together, whether we have city lights or starry skies in our eyes. More importantly, it’s about the God who pursues each of us, no matter our own inconsistencies or failures, and shows us the way back home.
Passarella, contributing editor at Southern Living, debuts with an amusing but uneven fish-out-of-water memoir. Raised in an evangelical Christian home in Memphis, Tenn., Passarella moved to New York City in 1999 to pursue her journalism career, and here she strings together reflections from her more than two decades in the city, examining the difficulties of being both an evangelical Christian and a Big Apple Democrat. Passarella shines in whimsical autobiography: the opening essay, about her relationship with sex as an evangelical proponent of abstinence, hilariously explains her routine of telling men she would meet at bars that she wasn't going to have sex with them and reads like a stand-up act. While Passarella's wry tone works for essays about her chaotic domestic life (including a clever q&a about how to fit five people into a three-bedroom apartment) and destination weddings, readers may find some of the stories, such as Passarella's strangely self-satisfied explanation of shouting fights with her children, less amusing. Despite this, many readers will identify with Passarella's bright take on what it means to straddle multiple worlds. \n